E is for Exchange

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:13)

Abraham 4 web

Abraham and Sarah had a son in their old age, and they named him Isaac. They cherished him as you may well imagine. When the boy was about twelve years old, God told Abraham to take Isaac to the mountains and offer him as a burnt offering unto the Lord. Without hesitation, Abraham packed the needed supplies and with his son, began the journey.

As they climbed the mountain, Isaac said to his father, “We have the wood and the fire, but where is the lamb for the offering?”

Abraham said, “The Lord will provide for Himself a lamb.”

When they reached the designated site for the sacrifice, Abraham bound his son, laid him on the altar, and raised his knife to kill him. We can only speculate what either one of them was thinking. But Isaac, although he easily could have out run his elderly father, obeyed and trusted. And Abraham willingly placed his only son, the promised heir, on the altar, believing God would provide for Himself a lamb.

Just before Abraham struck that fatal blow to his son, an angel stopped him and said, “Don’t do it, Abraham. You have shown your faith and have proven your love for Me.”

Abraham looked up and discovered a ram caught in a bush by his horns. Abraham exchanged the ram for Isaac on the altar that day.

This event was a foreshadowing of Jesus. Jesus could have escaped from the Roman soldiers and from the Jewish high priest, but like Isaac, He willingly obeyed his Father and laid His life on the “altar” at Golgotha.

And as the ram became the sacrifice in place of Isaac, Jesus exchanged His life for yours and mine on the cross that day. He took the punishment for our sins. It is the reason He was born.

Abraham and Isaac’s story is found in Genesis 22.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter E?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks


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